Terrifying Tofu (Vegan)

Many people believe that Tofu is “bland”, “full of estrogen”, “difficult to cook” and “low in iron”. Well I am here to give you to low down on Tofu and all of it’s amazing attributes! fullsizeoutput_796Let’s talk Heart Disease, according to USDA.com a simple 6 oz. Filet Mignon can contain 446 cal., 28g Fat (11g Saturated Fat) and 46g Protein. Sounds pretty decent. Now lets compare 6 oz of Tofu. This boasts a whopping 200 cal., 10g Fat (1g Saturated Fat) and 24g Protein! So, when comparing these we need to remember what key nutrients play a role in Heart Disease, which is a leading cause of death in our country. Saturated Fat and Cholesterol are huge offenders on our heart! So according to the USDA.com a 6 oz. Filet Mignon contains approximately 164 mg Cholesterol, which Mayo Clinic then tells us that if you are healthy you should not consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. However, they do also suggest that if you have Diabetes, Heart Disease or or High Cholesterol you should intake no more than 200 mg per day. If you are unaware of the effects of cholesterol and it’s purpose within our body, check out this article at The American Heart Association.org.  We technically do not need to “intake” any extra cholesterol, that is what our livers are for! Our livers will create the necessary amount of cholesterol that it sees fit to survive. However when we consume cholesterol containing foods, we trigger our liver to create MORE cholesterol than necessary. This in turn will lead to increased cholesterol levels and greater health risks. Overall, our bodies do not NEED cholesterol, we can consume a MINIMAL amount of it, however, in the end cholesterol and saturated fat are directly linked to Heart Disease. fullsizeoutput_6dbSo, why stress our bodies out with foods that will harm us when we can consume beneficial calories? According to The Physicians Committee.org there is a link between men that consume soy and having a lesser chance of prostate cancer and better prostate cancer survival! You may be wondering, how is this possible? Soybeans contain an ingredient called Phytoestrogens. These mimic estrogen cells in the body, however they do not actually create any reproductive changes, you can think of these as “plant estrogens” instead of “human estrogens”. The plant estrogens take up spots that estrogen could adhere to and decreases the bodies ability to uptake estrogen, so in turn it DECREASES the amount of estrogen that you get. This can help relieve menstrual symptoms and possibly reduce breast cancer risk. Soy is not the enemy, in fact it can help you! fullsizeoutput_6ddWhen worrying about Iron it is important to know the facts. It is true that sometimes Iron absorption from plants can be more difficult than absorbing it from animal products. However if you eat that same 6 oz. Filet Mignon you will intake 2.8g Iron, but having 4 cups. of Spinach will get you 3.2 g. Just remember that when consuming veggies it is good to have a small amount of fat to transport all of your vital nutrients (Tofu is great add in for this!). 6 oz. of Tofu also contains 20% of your Daily Iron Value!fullsizeoutput_6edSo why not give Tofu a try? A simple stir fry is great for beginners and a staple for future family dinners! Tofu contains ZERO Cholesterol, a minimal amount of fat and a whopping amount of protein! Cooking it can be a challenge, however if you refer to my recipe on Blazin’ BBQ Pizza (Vegan) I describe how I make my Tofu, crunchy and delicious! Also the price point is way more affordable than any meat product. A single block of Organic Extra Firm Tofu from Trader Joe’s (15 oz.) will run you $1.79 🙂 Now that’s a price we can all get behind! The best part is that you do not run the risk of under cooking it and food borne illness. It has a great shelf life and cheap price that any family can afford. So give it a try and let me know what you think! Tofu is no longer terrifying, it’s TERRIFIC!fullsizeoutput_6e2.:.Samantha.:.

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